Decide on a theme or focus for the party you are hosting. Thanksgiving is the main theme, of course. There are a lot of subcategories that you can magnify to create a unique fall Thanksgiving ambiance. Some ideas can serve as a springboard for your own environment and lifestyle preferences. It’s always good to remember that this one very special Thursday every year is about giving and being thankful and grateful for things and people we often take for granted.

  1. Replicate the first historical Thanksgiving Dinner. Have guests dress up as Indians, pilgrims, turkeys or something imaginative and fun. Too corny? It depends on your friends and family and if they have a sense of humor and exhilaration for unusual parties.
  2. Go modern with contemporary and abstract paintings, motifs and sculptures. Borrow from acquaintances or a local artist or gallery. Have dinnerware and table décor that is edgy and stylish with a futuristic or contemporary look.
  3. Put together a small play or recital for the children to participate in. Consider scripting it with the mindset of how the Thanksgiving Holiday is still a popular tradition but compare the difference--in this day and age--from the time when our nation was first explored and established.
  4. Highlight a special niche for your Thanksgiving Holiday party. Have turkey tchochtkes, or something you especially love to collect that may already be a part of your home décor or specialized collection. Antique salt dispensers or individual condiment bowls that were used for dining. Primitive spoon-fork utensils. Clay pipes or tobacco paraphernalia.
  5. Collect or create unique and delicious recipes for a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving dinner. Try not to go too far overboard, you want to still taste and feel the Holiday essence. Create side dishes with an ethnic flair: Indian chutneys, Moroccan bread, old world pies and festive desserts. Try poultry alternatives, smoked pheasant, seafood pate, apple and mincemeat appetizers or homemade cornbread chocked full of fresh kernels and warm maple syrup on the side.
  6. Research the actual Native Indian and Pilgrim foods that were harvested and incorporate these in side dishes. Cranberries, green beans, potatoes and corn, as well as, various types of squash and herbs were bountiful and a staple on their menus.
  7. Find out what your guests prefer as far as food and beverages is considered. Stock the bar with their favorite alcohol or non-alcohol cocktails or even healthy drink alternatives. Fresh juices with an eye appealing produce basket to select from, can be refreshing.
  8. Take note of anyone with allergies like peanuts or other foods. Always have vegan and vegetarian options. Some may be on the border about eating animal products. Veganism is becoming increasingly popular everywhere, even for those that you would least expect it from. Just have various selections available, no need to make a big deal about it or give unwanted attention to anyway on this subject. Some may feel shy or embarrassed if they are embarking on a new dietary regime that is unexpected to the crowd of friends they hang with.
  9. Select background music that illuminates the significance of your party theme. Have live entertainment before, during or after your meal. You want soothing, perhaps nostalgic songs that add to the memories of this day.
  10. Volunteer before or after the Thanksgiving festivities to help the poor and homeless. Each guest can meet at your local park or church where free meals are being served and give of your time to establish a relationship with those that have a hard road to walk. Food, bedding, clothing and money donations are always welcome and sincere giving from the heart only makes it shine brighter. Establish communication with leaders of homeless projects in your area so that you can understand the needs. Volunteer at food banks and shelters year-round. Always take time to help or donate to our furry friends in shelters awaiting adoption.

This is by far one of the favorite Holiday celebrations,  unique to America. Even though it is celebrated in many countries worldwide; it is a grand reminder to all of us to appreciate our neighbors. To appreciate life and give from the heart especially to those that are materially less fortunate than you, your family and friends is what it's all about.